Summer will be here before we know it, and that means longer nights and warmer (okay, much warmer) weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips and tricks that will help things run smoothly.
*Prepare your yard
Be sure to clean up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses, or toys.
*Choose the right seating (and have enough)
Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.
*Keep guests comfortable
Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. In addition to having ample shade coverage, consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab (think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans, and iced spray bottles).
*Keep the menu simple
Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and can withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads, and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.
Outdoor globe lights, lanterns, and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.
*Keep music relaxed
Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Make sure your playlist is long enough as not to repeat too many times while the guests are there.
*Display fresh cuts
Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.
Providing lawn games such as cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.
*Keep pests away
Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light up citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.
*Create a beverage bar
Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and PLENTY of ice.
*Opt for melamine
Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce your waste and also keep the area clear of all those lingering paper cups and plates.
Now that you know the tricks for a perfect outdoor party, here are some outdoor patios currently on the market that are begging to have you as a host.
6413 Old Gate Road | Plano | $6,999,000
1750 Trace Bella Court | Westlake | $4,995,000
5701 Arcady Place | Plano | $1,999,999
5003 Horseshoe Trail | Dallas – Bluffview | $1,998,000
11111 Eastview Circle | Dallas | $1,960,000
5001 Pinehurst Drive | Frisco | $1,350,000
1300 Lincoln Court | Allen | $1,140,000
2803 Edgewood Lane | Colleyville | $995,000
712 Basilica Lane | McKinney | $885,000
Ok, we know it’s just about 100º outside and cozying up by the fire isn’t exactly on the top of everyone’s list of things to do right now, but we had to acknowledge the gorgeous stone fireplaces we’ve seen in our listings recently. It seems like every other new home that comes on the market has a stunning stone fireplace in it.
Whether it’s just the mantle or a towering two-story feature, stone around a fireplace has a certain soothing and, ironically, cooling feel about it. The smooth texture and variety of ornate designs that it can be made into puts stone in a category of its own.
Even though they’re not always in season, fireplaces of any kind are always a desirable feature in real estate. They create a focal point, an element around which to arrange your furniture, and warmth when it’s cold out. Take a look at the listings around D-FW where we’ve found this fabulous feature.